The Doctrine of the Rishi's

<Ganesha> Welcome to our Sunday Evening #)Gaia*Friends( Presentation

Tonight our Topic is: The Doctrine of the Rishi's
for further information on the scriptures and doctrines of the Hindu Experience
visit this comprehensive site:

Rishi's were believed to be person's from ancient times with extraordinary
spiritual attainments. The Rishi's discovered in meditation ways to self
realization through the use different ways of focusing their energy and

We will be discussing some ancient spiritual texts with insight and
teachings that are just as valuable and insightful today as when they were
first transmitted orally and later written down in ancient times.

Melissa Shubha Smith ( email: ) has been
studying ancient yoga for many years and would
like to share this knowledge with others.

Texts we will touch on:
Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali

Shiva Sutras - The Yoga of Supreme Identity

previous )Gaia*Friends( Lecture of this subject of Shiva Sutras
and kashmir Shaivism at:

The Guru Gita - A section of the Shiva Puranas dealing with the instructions
of shiva to his consort Parvati on how to attain liberation in the body

My name is Melissa Shubha Smith a.k.a. Ganesha
and I have had the great good fortune to study with
Gurumayi Chidvilasananda (the head of Siddha Yoga Lineage
a Maha Kundalini Master).

For more on the Siddha Yoga path visit :

I have made a personal study of Siddha Yoga, Kashmir Shavism,
Upanishads, Vendantic texts, and Bhairava Yoga for 10 years.

It is my delight and honor to present this topic
"The Doctrine of the Rishi's" for the first time on IRC.

Our schedule tonight will be as follows:

1. Invocation from Yajur Veda
2. Background and Basics of Beginning Hinduism
3. Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali
4. The Shiva Sutras - The Yoga of Supreme Identity
a section of the Shiva Puranas

(Guru Gita) The Nectar of Chanting,
(no author). South Fallsburg, New York: SYDA Foundation, 1984.
Not available online/Can by mail ordered 914-434-2000

6. Meditation - Ham Sah Mantra
7. Sharing and Questions

And so if everyone is ready we'll begin:

1. Invocation: From the Yajur Veda - Prayer for Peace and Clarity said at the beginning and ending of sessions:

Aum saha na vavatu saha nau bhunaktu saha viryam karavavahai tejasvinav adhitamastu ma vidvishavahai Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay


Aum, May we be protected.

May god be pleased with us.

May we work together.

May we illumined by our studies.

May we have no contention or hostilities between us.
Aum Peace Peace Peace - Hail to the Inner Teacher!

The fundamental tenets of Hinduism took shape during the period 800-500 BCE.
They were set down in a series of treaties called the Upanishads.
The Upanishads arise at the end of the Vedas, which earns it the name
Veda-anta, which literally means "end (anta) of the Vedas.

Almost all philosophy and religion in India rests upon the wealth of
speculation contained in these works.

The Upanishads center on the inner realms of the spirit.
Encompassing the meaning of spiritual unity, the Upanishads point
directly to the Divine Unity which pervades all of nature
and is identical to the self.

There are four "kinetic ideas" -- ideas that involve action or motion --
that represent the core of Indian spirituality.

The ultimate objective is control of the passions and to realize a
state of void -- a concept very similar to that of Buddhism.

The four kinetic ideas are "karma, maya, nirvana, and yoga".
They appeared for the first time in the Upanishads.

A brief summary of the four ideas are provided below.

Karma: The law of universal causality, which connects man
with the cosmos and condemns him to transmigrate --
to move from one body to another after death -- indefinitely.

Maya: refers to cosmic illusion; the mysterious process
that gives rise to phenomena and maintains the cosmos.

According to this idea, the world is not simply what is seems
to the human senses -- a view with which the 20th century
western scientists wholly agree.

Absolute reality, situated somewhere beyond the cosmic illusion
woven by maya and beyond human experience as conditioned by karma.

Both Tagore, the renowned Indian poet and Albert Einstein,
the famous scientist, agreed on this conclusion. Absolute reality,
in their minds, was beyond human perception.

Nirvana: The state of absolute blessedness, characterized by
release from the cycle of reincarnations; freedom from the pain
and care of the external world; bliss.

Union with God or Atman. Hindus call such mystical union
with ultimate reality as Samadhi or Moksha.

Yoga: implies integration; bringing all the faculties of the psyche
under the control of the self.
Essentially, the object of various types of yoga is mind control,
and the system lays down the effectual techniques of gaining liberation
and achieving divine union.
The word yoga is loosely applied to any program or technique
which leads toward the union with God or Atman.

There are five principal kinds of yoga: Hatha(physical),
jnana (the way of knowledge),
bhakti (the way of love), karma (the way of work),
and rajah (mystical experience).

Whenever someone talks about "YOGA" ,
we must remember that Yoga can mean any one
or a combination of whatever integrates a particular seekers
focus and facilitates their own evolution towards Oneness
or Enlightened Consciousness.

Depending on ones own abilities to "concentrate"
because YOGA is in essence the ability to "focus or concentrate" (Samadhi).

Concentration or Samadhi is possible in whatever "state"
the mind happens to be in. Provided that self effort and grace,
the two wings of the seekers bird, use the mind to "fix" ,
"focus", or "concentrate" the mind is specific ways.

Becoming wholly absorbed in the Inner self or the Awareness
of Awakened Consciousness.

This is not dry type intellectual knowledge but rather
and "experience" of union with the universal that can only become reality if the proper steps for the focus are taken by the seeker.

This is why we seek guidance from a meditation or yoga master.
The path can be very confusing to a person without some help.

Patanjali was such a master..let us investigate what he says
about mind and focus....

2. Patanjali's YOGA SUTRA'S

When we 1st read the instructions of Patanjali ( a great and ancient meditation/yoga master ) in the form of his Yoga Sutras ( a sutra is a concise summation of a particular way of concentration or form of yoga).
See compilation of complete sutras at:

Secondly, we then take the time to practice the exercises of the sutras.

Practice of the instructions of the Yoga Sutras is a way we can come to "the experience" or the grace of all the others who have gone before us on the Yoga Path, who have practiced and read these instructions.

There is self effort and grace is the effort to do just this and nothing more.

With this idea, we humbly approach these teachings...

In Patanjela's Yoga Sutras a compilation of previously orally
transmitted instructions for attaining God Realization
but written down in sutra form by the sage Patanjali.

According to ancient tradition, the original exponent of a yoga tradition
was Hiranyagarbha (the omniscient and all pervading creator).

He is believed to have taught the yoga system to some meditating
Rishi's who handed it down to others amongst them the sage
Kapila who is mentioned in the Svetasvatara Upanishad ( an ancient yogic text).
Later, the Yoga Master Patanjali wrote them down for us.

There are four sections to Pantagali's Yoga Sutras.
Book One deals with "Concentration" and has 51 sutras.
Book Two is about "Practice" and has 55 sutras.
Book Three is about Supernormal Powers and has 55 sutras
Book Four is on the Self in Itself or Liberation and has 34 sutras
All sutras and all Four books are about Absolute Consciousness
establishing itself within itself as its own self.

Let us now examine the first 3 sutras in the First Book:

1 .Now then Yoga is being explained.
2. Yoga is the suppression of the modifications of the mind.
3 Then the Seer abides in Itself.

Sutra 1: Yoga as a practice has been explained now.. see above in the previous explanations of Yoga....
Sutra 2: Yoga is the Suppression of the modifications of the mind.

Let us settle back for a minute and settle our mind.
See how our mind is in a habitually constant state of flux. It constantly changes.....
The habitual states of mind are as follows:
Restlessness, Stupefied, Distracted, One Pointed, and Arrested

Restlessness : the restless mind does not have the patience or
intelligence necessary for the contemplation of a subtle subject.
It can not comprehend subtle principals.

Stupefied Mind: when the mind is obsessed or infatuated with sense objects.
People engrossed in thoughts of wealth, family, and social position generally
concentrate their minds in this infatuated and engrossed state.

Distracted Mind: This is a mind that is calm sometimes
and at other times disturbed.
This is the state of mind of most spiritual seekers.

In times of calmness, the real nature of subtle principals
is understood but at other times the mind is distracted
and disturbed and forgets the subtle principals.

One Pointed Mind: This is the mind that is focused in one direction.
Patanjali later defines it as a mind wherein , on the fading away of
one thought, the same thought arises again in succession.

It is said that when one masters one pointed thought it leads to the
"Samadhi" or real one pointed thinking leading to salvation
and union with the universal.

Arrested Mind: This is when thought processes have been suspended
and the mind is arrested at will by long disciplinary practice.
It is when the mind process gradually ceases to function
that liberation is achieved.

3. The Third Sutra: The Seer abides in Itself.

This is the state of Arrested Mind..where liberation occurs.
Pure Consciousness appears as the impartial witness.
The witness of the mind identifies with the Mind itself creating
a merging or arrested state.

Let us just settle into our minds for a minute and experience this state:

The seer (the witness) rests or abides in Itself.

Become this state..... notice what it feels like..... (
The self abides in the self).... We will stay in this state for 1 min.

This was meditation using the instructions of the great sage Patanjali.
Perhaps you felt nothing, perhaps a flash of understanding ..
known as unmesa.

Unmesa means the self-revelation or uncovering .
Others such as Krishnamurti have explained this state as the "creative movement".
This is the experience of the essential self.

The experience of the Rishi's.


3.The Shiva Sutras - The Yoga of Supreme Identity

Now we'll move to the sutras of another Rishi/Acharya/Sage, Vasugupta.
Vasugupta lived in Kashmir. For picture and more history

While sleeping one night he and was told in a dream by the god "Shiva"
( a meditating yogi on the subtle realm)

"On the yonder mountain, there is an esoteric doctrine under a
big stone piece. Having obtained it, reveal it to those who are
fit for its grace."

When Vasugupta woke up in the morning he searched the nearby
mountain and found a big stone-piece which when he just touched
with his hand turned to reveal the shiva sutras.
Later he wrote them down and taught them to his students.

In an earlier #)Gaia*Friends( lecture I discussed in more detail
the history of Kashmir Shaivism in which the Shiva Sutras are known
as a section of its incredible and once secret compendium of
esoteric and enlivened knowledge.

a good site for the history of Kashmir Shaivism is:

A Site that has the SHIVA SUTRAS in entirety is:

Sutra 1 - Caitanyamatma 1. Consciousness is the being.
Awareness which has absolute freedom of knowledge and activity.
Self or Nature of Reality.
Awareness which has absolute freedom of all knowledge
and activity is the Self or nature of Reality.

It is said that nothing exists outside the range of consciousness.
The activity of Consciousness is everywhere throughout this universe.
All the attributes of this universe are many but the seer of the attributes
is the same in all, therefore..letting the witness of the consciousness
rest in the abiding and universal matrix of the everlasting
and pervasive consciousness perceived within the great freedom
of ones own mind is Caitanyamatma.

Letting us remember the state of our mind resting or abiding
within itself and maybe with the subtle creative eye of
understanding go to a subtler viewpoint of this basis yogic premise.

The sage further in the Shiva Sutras outlines distinct and
furthering focuses and concentrations the mind can use
for focus on the One Consciousness/Supreme Identity

a section of the Shiva Puranas
(Guru Gita) The Nectar of Chanting,
(no author).

South Fallsburg, New York: SYDA Foundation, 1984.
Not available online/Can be mail ordered at: 914-434-2000

The Guru Gita is a section of the Shiva Puranas,
which were oral traditions of Shiva's words passed from
teacher to student since ancient times.

The Study of the Guru Gita is the chanting
and repetition of its incredible 182 verses on a daily basis.

The text of the Guru Gita is when the wife of Shiva,
a goddess named Parvati, asks Shiva one day.
"How can I become One with universal Consciousness?"
(is this not the question we as seekers ask??")
He (Shiva) is delighted to give her precise, intricate,
and sometimes mysterious instructions in the form of this text.

The word Guru is explained to mean:
the dispelling of darkness by the Light of Consciousness.
A person who is fully awakened to this awareness can transmit
this state to one who through disciple, practice, and devotion.

There are ways of holding the Mind within the mind
that are named in this treatise.
The chanting of this text is a type of Yoga called Swadhaya.

Swadhaya is the focus of a seekers eyes and being on the
actual sacred enlivened text which has the ability to uplift, restore,
and awaken a seeker to Universal Consciousness.

I have become aware in my own 10 year daily study
and chanting of the Sanskrit mantras of this sacred text
that "the Guru" is another way of seeking the freedom
of ones consciousness abiding within its own self
and the freedom and awareness of this natural state.

So in the text, when it speaks of "Guru" translate
that in your mind to the feeling you got contemplating the
first 3 of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and the First Shiva Sutra.

This freedom of the resting of the mind within its own natural place
of "itself" is the Guru.
In the prelude to the Guru Gita Verses it is said:
The patterns of this scripture are diverse.
The Guru, the Supreme Self, is its deity.

Translation: Even though the scripture says many things,
remember, the Guru, the Supreme Self abiding in the
Natural Freedom of your mind resting within itself
is the most important thing to remember.
The Guru is just a word to use for remembering this concept.
( as in Patanjali and Shiva Sutra )

Ham is its seed letter, sah its power, and krom its nail.
The purpose of repeating it (Ham Sah) is to win the Guru's
(the concept of the state of consciousness of the mind resting
within the mind is natural freedom) grace.

Translation: While sitting in this concentration the vibration
of the breath going in and out of the body is Ham and Sah.

These are the sounds the breath makes.

The focus being the concentration and remembrance of the breath.

Krom speaks of the identification with the state of mind
that is Beyond the Beyond or steady in arrested state leading to liberation.

Now, meditation.
(The Guru who dwells in) the lotus surrounded by the divine
petals Ham and Sah, which reside in all beings
and are the cause of the world, manifested the world in his
own way and of his own free will.

Meditate on the Guru, who reveals That, who illumines
like the flame of the lamp, who is eternal and all pervasive,
and who is visible form of all letters.

Between the vibration of your own breath, the Ham and Sah,
is the lotus or matrix of the Inner Self.
Meditating and concentrating on this concept of the guru
( the self abiding in its self) between breaths, the supreme self the inner Joy
will be revealed as Light is Revealed from a lamp or Letters reveal words.

The Guru Gita Text goes on for 182 verses after this.....
but this Introduction really says it all.
It says: ( as we just read) focusing on the inner self reveals the
nnate and inherent liberation of your own mind.

Lets just take a moment and as we breath in and out ....
hear the subtle vibration of the Ham and the Sah.......

5. MEDITATION / a few minutes

Lets imagine or visualize a space of ,
or light/flame of consciousness between the in breath and the out breath.

Let us make our breath steady and slow. Breath in normally, exhale slowly.
Ham is the in breath
Sah is the out breath

visualize the lotus
the flower of the inner self
observe what it looks like within yourself.


This is the Ham Sah Meditation and a way of focusing ones

This is Yoga

This is the supreme light of consciousness abiding within itself in its natural state...

This is the doctrine of the Rishi's the divine ancient sages
who heard or found these instructions in ancient times in meditation.

<Ganesha> We will be ending the lecture part of the presentation
and open the floor for sharing.
Aum, May we be protected.
May god be pleased with us.
May we work together
May we illumined by our studies.
May we have no contention or hostilities between us. Aum
Peace Peace Peace -
Hail to the Inner Teacher!
With Love and Light from my heart to yours - Thank-you
Melissa Shubha Smith

<David> nice Ganesha!
<^alexia^> nope...I just see that I came in a bit late
and then got cut off by my provider...arggghhh...
<Ganesha> well, you can see the log on the web page alex :)
I felt the energy so thick while I was giving this
<SHAMAN> it was nice ganesha
<rama> :))))

<wu> can one be transformed by concepts?
<David> good question wu
<whytlyon> humm
<SHAMAN> this is all theory, has to be put into practice to see results
<wu> I am full of concepts... among other things
<Ganesha> I think one is transformed by the "experience" of the inner self
not the concept of it
<whytlyon> experience is powerful

<wu> yes.... the trick seems to be for me
to understand how I keep myself from experiencing
<Ganesha> yeah, its a surrender thing in the mind wu...its very commen in
seekers..its like a place you just give up to eventually
<wu> I seem to be moving in that direction... but very slowly
<^alexia^> perhaps experiencing is more of a "living" a
concept...or moving from understanding of it to becoming?
<Ganesha> well, its making friends with the light of your own
consciousness and thru practice..abiding in your own light
<wu> and so my mind asks... what does abiding in my own light mean?
<^alexia^> living out what you feel is you inside...
<Ganesha> just a subtle feeling while you were thinking about it...not the
thoughts...but the feeling
<David> giving up the idea of being there wu, just being there
<SHAMAN> i felt awe
<Ganesha> excellent shaman
there are no words for it..but a feeling that helps one connect...

<Ganesha> yeah...the awe of the innner self is like a presence
<whytlyon> the _inside_ is what's real
<^alexia^> is see each of us as a microcosm of what is the small
samples existing everywhere with all the experiences contained within
it...put together to make up the macrocosm...
<David> The only thing I think you forgot to mention Ganesha is that for
most of us this is a slow process - the key is continuity and practice -
does not happen in a week, a month, a year, for most of us.
<Ganesha> well, these are teaching I have been contemplating for many many
years on a daily basis and it keeps enlivened to me...I have never
actually talked about these things online like this...
<wu> I appreciate your sharing......
you have opened up some doors for me ganesha
<Ganesha> I just gave a basic outline and some teachings to contemplate
<SHAMAN> takes ages to make a diamond .no less for enlightenment!

<Ganesha> well, we all have the diamond can reveal itself
anytime..its always wanting to be whether we realize how
much its trying to get our attention or not :)

It is said that consciousness is gem like
and that the gem of the inner self is the heart of ones self..the
place where the soul resides..the inner flame of light

<wu> thanks for finding me
<whytlyon> thank you
* SHAMAN bows